Feasibility Study for Self-Sustained Wastewater Treatment Plants—Using Biogas CHP Fuel Cell, Micro-Turbine, PV and Wind Turbine Systems


This paper studies the application of renewable energy sources in wastewater treatment plants to achieve self-sustain- ability of power. The data of wastewater treatment plant in the rural city of Toukh-EGYPT are presented as a case-study. The primary objective is to provide an entirely renewable standalone power system, which satisfies lowest possible emissions with the minimum lifecycle cost. Mass balance principle is applied on the biodegradable components in the wastewater to evaluate the volume of digester gas that is produced from sludge through anaerobic digestion process. Using digester gas as a fuel lead to study combined-heat-and-power technologies, where fuel cell is selected in order to abide by the low emissions constraint. The study assessed the electrical power obtained from fuel cell and the utilization of the exhausted heat energy for additional electrical power production using a micro-turbine. After covering the major part of load demand, the use of other renewable energy sources was studied. The strength of both solar and wind energy was determined by the case-study location. Hybrid optimization model for electric renewable (HOMER) software was used to simulate the hybrid system composed of combined-heat-and-power units, wind turbines and photovoltaic systems. Simulation results gave the best system configuration and optimum size of each component beside the detailed electrical and cost analysis of the model.

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A. Helal, W. Ghoneim and A. Halaby, "Feasibility Study for Self-Sustained Wastewater Treatment Plants—Using Biogas CHP Fuel Cell, Micro-Turbine, PV and Wind Turbine Systems," Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 227-235. doi: 10.4236/sgre.2013.42028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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